COVID-19: Brazil suffers worst run of daily deaths

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Brazil reported 2,216 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, the third day in a row that fatalities exceeded 2,000 in the worst run of deaths since the pandemic began a year ago.

The health ministry also reported 85,663 new coronavirus infections, its second highest number for one day, as the pandemic surges in South American country driven by a highly contagious new local variant.

The World Health Organization said the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil is very concerning and serious action needs to be taken.

Brazil has now registered 11,363,380 cases in all, passing India as the country with the second worst outbreak.

The official death toll has risen to 275,105 in the world's second-deadliest outbreak outside the United States.

On Wednesday, Brazil had a record toll of 2,286 dead, followed on Thursday by 2,233 more deaths, the health ministry said.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has minimized the gravity of the virus and said he will not have a vaccination, is facing mounting criticism for failing to secure a timely supply of doses for the populace, with less than 3% vaccinated so far.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that everyone in Brazil should take the situation seriously, adding that neighboring countries could be affected.

"Unless serious measures are taken the upward trend now flooding the health system and becoming more than its capacity will result in more deaths," he said at a news conference in Geneva.

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